Saturday night a week ago Pastor Garrett announced that there would not be church the following Tuesday night due to some church remodeling that would be going on. I turned to the family and jokingly said "Well, then the kids and I should go to California."
Next thing I knew, I was making phone calls and packing suitcases.
Jim was so nervous about the kids and I traveling alone. He checked and double checked the van, gave me financial instructions and generally worried.
Monday morning I woke up at 5 to get ready and load up. Jim ran in from the other room and started brushing his teeth. He paused and said, "I just have to pack!" Hallelujah! He was able to contact his boss and get permission to take the week off since it was slow and he had the time.
By 6:30 A.M. we were on the road. I am sooooo thankful that my kids travel well. Traveling at night does not work for us, so we have to travel during the kids awake times. They love it, however, and either entertain themselves with all the toys and books that I pack, or are content to just look out the window. It does make the trip so much easier.
We are able to drive from Phoenix, AZ to Modesto, California in less than twelve hours. That includes four quick potty breaks and an hour long lunch break. So, we pulled into my mom's driveway at 6 P.M. She treated us to a pizza dinner and we enjoyed hanging out.
Tuesday we drove to Jim's parents where we planned a two night camping trip to Clark's Fork, above Sonora and Strawberry, California. Did a little shopping. Lots of hanging out. The kids played Wii (and fought a lot over who's turn it was, oy!)
Tuesday was also my brother's birthday, so we asked my inlaws to watch the kids while Jim and I went out to dinner with my brother, his wife, and my mom. It was so nice to enjoy a delicious dinner without kids. We talked and laughed while we eat, then went over to Jordan and Gina's house to check it out and talk and laugh some more. It was wonderful.
Wednesday we loaded up the van and Jim's parents loaded up their camper and we headed up the mountain. It wound up being hotter than we had hoped, so that was a little bit of a bummer. And we forgot the coffee!!! Horrors. But overall the camping trip was good. The kids got to spend quality time with their grandparents and enjoy the great outdoors. Justin and Jason spent a lot of time playing in the dirt with sand toys that I had bought. Justin was filthy the entire time and I think he had the most fun! Katelyn and Tyler played lots of sports games, plus UNO and Skip-do. We went on a couple of hikes down to the river and got a little wet (Justin got a lot wet!). I think roasting hotdogs and marshmallows was the favorite.
Friday we came back to civilization and showers. Jordan and Gina came over to my mom's with dinner (I love a girl who brings chicken nuggets for the kids!). We talked and laughed some more. It's funny to see my brother married. I'm so happy for him. Gina is perfect for him.
We had bounced around a few ideas of what to do on Saturday with my mom, but in the end decided to stay in town. Everyone was tired of driving and we would be heading home the next day, another 12 hour drive. So Grandma took the kids to Toys R Us and Hobby Lobby and bought them each something. Then we went to lunch at the Golden Corral (I've learned that, when given the option, go for the buffet. Quicker and the kids have a variety to choose from). The afternoon was spent packing and playing with new toys. After dinner we went to Boomers/Camelot to drive go-karts and play putt-putt. The night was finished with a trip to Cold-Stone Creamery.
Sunday we drove home. Now the house is a mess with laundry and suitcases to unpack. But I'm glad that we took the chance to go see some family and make some memories.